74 wildfires still raging in Australia

Clay Curtis
November 8, 2019

More than 90 blazes pockmarked the New South Wales countryside, 50 of them uncontained, tearing through tens of thousands of hectares.

Australian authorities describe it as an "unprecedented" number of emergency-level fires.

Both states have been plagued by severe drought, and while some parts of New South Wales celebrated rain over the weekend, it was not widespread enough to mitigate the damage done by months of historically poor rainfall, making this fire season more unsafe than usual.

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service told EFE that between July 1 to November 5, around 574,727 hectares had been burned, and although the figure was not updated, it had already exceeded the area that was consumed by fires in the previous two seasons put together.

Authorities warned some people to seek shelter from fires rather than flee, as it was now "too late to leave".

There are also reports of people being unable to get out of their houses and rescuers being unable to reach them because of the sheer ferocity of the fires.

There were 15 blazes at the highest threat level on Friday evening, with more than 1,000 firefighters are fighting the blazes.

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Emergency responses have stretched along 621 miles of Australia's coast where the fires are spread across.

The areas most affected by the fires include Tenterfield, Armidale, Clarence Valley, Port Macquarie, Nambucca and Kempsey, according toCNN affiliate Nine News. At least five schools have closed due to the fires.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the fire service has received reports that several communities have been impacted by the blazes, including reports of injuries to residents and damage to buildings.

Queensland and New South Wales are prone to wildfires in spring and early summer.

However, experts estimated on Friday that almost half the koalas living on a coastal reserve in New South Wales have been wiped out, with the rest of the colony of originally 500 to 600 animals still under threat.

This is one of Australia's worst bushfire seasons with a record number of emergency warnings and firefighters battling dozens of fires.

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